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Kohlberg moral development

Video transcript

let's take a look at Lawrence Kohlberg so Lawrence Kohlberg developed the moral theory of development now this is much different than the other three theorists that we talked about earlier but at the same time his theory was based upon cognitive development so that's how it was similar to vygotsky's however he looked at how people develop their morals versus their overall development emotional physical development throughout life so Kohlberg hope to discover the ways in which moral reasoning changed as people grew so the way he actually did this is interesting he looked at children which is pretty common among all of the other theorists we talked about Vygotsky Freud and Erikson they all looked at children because obviously that's where a lot of the most fascinating development and growth occurs and rapid growth occurs is during the adolescent period so what Kohlberg did is he told a bunch of children many dilemma story situations so he told these stories to children of all ages and he asked many questions to discover how people reasoned through these moral issues so the most famous dilemma situation was that of mr. Heinz some man in Europe and I'm just going to narrate this story quickly because it's a pretty famous situation so this is how the story goes Heinz his wife was dying from a particular type of cancer doctor said a new drug might save her and the drug had been discovered by a local chemist and Heinz tried desperately to buy some but the chemist was charging ten times the money it cost to make the drug and this was way more than Heinz could afford so Heinz can only raise half the money even after help from his family and friends so he explained to the chemist that his wife was dying and begged and asked her if he could have the drug for cheaper or at least pay the money that he still owed idolater but the chemists refused he said that the drug he discovered was going to be very profitable so mr. Heinz was desperate to save his wife so later that night he broke into the chemists office and stole the drug so this was the most famous dilemma it's called the Heinz dilemma and after he told this story to the children Kohlberg asked them a series of questions like should Heinz have stolen the drug would it change anything if Heinz did not love his wife what if the person dying was a stranger would it make a difference and should the police arrest the chemist for murder if the woman died so after compiling and analyzing all of the responses and that the children gave Kohlberg analyzed three distinct levels of moral reasoning so the first of these is the preconventional or the pre moral stage the second is the conventional stage and the last is the post conventional stage so I've set this up um kind of like a ladder I guess it looks more like a bunch of steps but think of this as the ladder of morality so Kohlberg said that people can only pass through these levels in the order listed so first have to go through these than this than this and each new stage replaces the reasoning typical of the earlier stage and he also said that not everyone achieves the last stage so the first level actually before I go on each of these levels was then further split into two levels so altogether there are six stages of morality development so the first pre moral stage had the first level so the first level is obedience versus punishment so obviously this level deals with children people of a younger age so at this basic level Authority is outside the individual and reasoning is based on physical consequences of actions so children see rules as fixed and absolute so obeying the rules is a means to avoid punishment so if the child is good they're going to avoid being punished by their parent and if they are punished that means they must have done something wrong now the second stage in this is called individualism and exchange so let me write that out and in this stage basically children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities so they start to understand that different individuals have different viewpoints so after we pass through these two stages we can move up the ladder this way into the conventional stage and at the conventional stage there are two more steps so we can do this as step three so at this stage authorities internalize but not questioned and reasoning is based on the norm of the group to which the person belongs so stage three is all about good boy and good girl sounds kind of funny not vs but good boy and good girl so what I mean by this is that the child or the individual is good in order to be seen as being good by other people so now they're taking into other people's thoughts into account so there's an emphasis on conformity so being nice and having that consideration of how choices influence relationships is important the fourth stage of morality is maintaining social order so law and order and here the child becomes aware of the wider rules of society so judgments concern obeying rules in order to uphold the law and to avoid guilt it's all about what society says at this point so once we're past that we can move on even further and to stage 3 which is split down further into stages 5 & 6 so here at stage 5 and we have so the social contract so in the post conventional phase or stage individual judgment is based on self chosen principles so we're beyond law order we're thinking at an even higher level and we're having higher moral reasoning it's based more on individual rights and justice for the greater good so in the social contract step the individual becomes aware that even though rules and laws exist for the good of the greater number of people there are times that this law and order still may work against the interest of particular people so the issues aren't always clear-cut so for example and Heinz's dilemma was the protection of life more important than breaking the law against stealing well according to people that reach this level level 5 of the social contract yes the protection of life is more important than breaking the law and stealing which is down here at level 4 so the rules of law are important for maintaining society but members that reach this level realize that society should also agree upon these standards and that sometimes the law must be broken to uphold these higher morals and the sixth step the last step of moral reasoning according to Kohlberg is based on the universal ethical principle so over here and people at this stage develop their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law so the principles apply to everyone such as human rights justice and equality and the person who upholds and believes in this wholeheartedly has to be prepared to act and defend these principles even if it means going against the rest of society in the process and even if they have to obey consequences of disapproval or imprisonment in Kohlberg believe that very few people reach this stage so actually can you think of a few people in history famous people that have reached this stage I would think that Gandhi was one person that reached that stage how many times was he put into prison what about Nelson Mandela or even Martin Luther King there are so many people that believed in these universal rights of equality for all people even if it went against the law and order of the society at that time they still upheld this and they were prepared to have to pay the consequences that the law would put against them the restraints so they are the ones that had the highest level of morality according to Kohlberg